Wednesday, November 02, 2005
$100 and Nothing!
$100 and Nothing! is the title of a short story by one of my favorite writers, J. California Cooper. Won't give any details away, but in short, it's the perfect revenge story for lovers done wrong. The story is in her collection, A Piece of Mine.
I discovered J. California Cooper's writing while on a trip to a black-owned bookstore in Chicago. I was looking for something... anything... to whet my literary appetite, and didn't know what to buy. You ever get that feeling in the bookstore? Well, the store owner enthusiastically recommended J. California Cooper. Went on and on about the story, $100 and Nothing! Said I would love the mix of old-fashioned storytelling, life lessons, and tell-it-like-it-is wit of Cooper's characters.
Since then, I've been a major fan. Met her once, at a signing in San Francisco. She's a character... in a good way. Told me one of her childhood beaus was named Fred. We laughed.
I recommend all of J. California Cooper's work, her short story collections and her novels. Her novel, Family, remains one of my favorites... that book made me cry for hours while reading. Again, won't give details away, but a mother's love is always present... whether she's near or far.